As I mentioned in my previous post you can never rule out obscure locations for producing great wines. For all those who travel on business and don’t take advantage of the wineries to visit in your destination cities, this column is for you. There are several good reasons beyond your own selfish needs that make visiting any available winery within reach during your business travel advisable and in some cases even necessary and I will list the top ten now.
A vineyard in Santa Ynez Valley, California Photo: wikipedia.org
- Your knowledge of local agriculture will impress your client or fellow employees.
- You will recognize wine labels at your local retailer that might have held absolutely no interest to you and had been completely obscured before.
- You may get fired and never have a reason to return to the area making it the perfect time to become aquatinted with the local wine.
- You can spend time socializing in something other than the hotel bar and still get to drink.
- You will most likely get some relevant and useful insider tips on local restaurants.
- Spouses, friends, bosses, and clients always love bottles of wine as a gift and nothing say’s thinking of you like a bottle of wine purchased at the winery.
- Getting to know the local geography, sites, points of interest and locations of historical significance will also be knowledge gained because you will find all of these before you actually get to the winery you are looking for, I don’t know why that happens it just does.
- If you are single the chances of meeting someone nice at a local winery is a lot greater than your chances at the local bar.
- Have you looked at the dismal selection and the prices of a bottle of wine on that room service menu?
- Doing something constructive with your free time while you are away from your family, friends and loved ones might be a wee bit redeeming in some small significant way.
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For the West Coast business cities here are my suggestions. In the Northwest wineries are less than an hour’s drive away from Portland in many directions. The tasting rooms of the Willamette Valley wineries are very close to anyone heading to Nike, Intel or any of the other business destinations in the Portland area. Just head south or west for Willamette Valley wines and due east for Columbia Gorge wineries. If your travels take you to Seattle a trip to the suburb of Woodinville should keep you busy.
Seattlites rarely mention the cluster of wineries located in the Woodinville area along with the Redhook brewery and some of the best restaurants in the country to business visitors. I suspect they are afraid you might find out you like the northwest and want to come back. If by some chance your business travel has you stay a weekend in Portland or Seattle head to the Columbia Valley and the Tri-Cities area.
If your travels take you to San Jose the Monterey and Santa Cruz wineries have a lot to offer. The Sierra Foothill wineries are a must for any business traveler in the Sacramento area and Napa is just an hour’s drive away from Sacramento also.
To the east and now I’m talking about Texas, if you find yourself in Austin there are several wineries worth checking out in the foothills.
The Colorado wine scene has quietly grown quite a bit in recent years, with the most promising being on the Front Range.
East Coast trips to New York can be made eventful by discovering the wonderful Finger Lakes region.
I’m sure I left out folks everywhere so if I left out your favorite without mention, post your comment. All work and no play ain’t the way to spend the day. Now I do buy that.